This week we’re looking at the 2012 Dodge Charger R/T (Road & Track) that has evolved a bit in design and I rather like the new bold grill and the body sculpture added on the side. But its sibling “Challenger” continues to be my favorite Retro car from Chrysler, along with the PT Cruiser of course.
And not to digress too far on the PT Cruiser, I would just like to say I think it was a mistake to abandon the model from the lineup. Sales fell from being Chrysler’s #1 seller to 10% of those high sales years’ numbers in the final year. Abandon is the watchword as Chrysler simply were squeezing out all they could from the popularity fully knowing giving nothing back in improvements would lead to the consumer turning away from buying. OK, so you can’t rule out the fact that as a model declines in sales, coupled with a troubled industry it signals the end to the consumer as well. There are no secrets and people quickly sense the impending death of the model. The downward spiral picks up speed and sales are closely in step with the companies telegraphing of its intent.
Back to the Dodge Charger…
Parts content – US/ Canadian 63%, Mexico 15%; Engine & Transmission – Germany. It is assembled inBrampton, Ontario, Canada Classification is Large Cars. Cars from Dodge: Avenger, Caliber, Challenger, Charger, Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Nitro and Viper.
Gas prices – well the good news is that gas prices are coming down but the bad news is that it is political with the election only 4 months away at this writing. If Obama has his way he is promoting lower gas prices up to election as there are no other reasons for the rapid drop.
Why is this so obvious? Simple – he has stated his intent is that gas prices go to $10 per gallon in order to force you and me to move away from cars like this Charger and to high mileage little putt-putt’s – and he will tell us which ones are acceptable. It’s his green agenda and that is obviously contrary to the public good and what the public wants and needs.
Headlines on Politico recently: “Chu: DOE working to wean U.S. off oil”. Steven Chu was scolded by congressmen for his 2008 comment that “…gas prices in the U.S. should be as high as in Europe”. That folks is where Obama will go if he is given the chance. Think about that and the last time you filled the tank and it cost $100 plus. . . and when Obama achieves his goal of gas price increases to Europe prices that tank fill up will go to $200. Don’t believe it? I drove 2,500 miles through much of Europe and prices were $8-10.00 per gallon. Brace yourself you are about to get screwed again.
Handling & Performance:
Charger delivers a really smooth ride and the “Crest Test” I do on all cars I review turned out to be surprisingly impressive for a large car. The feel is solid and controlled in the corners. Some might say you can take the curves easily at 30 mph over the suggested speeds, but, of course, I would never do that. With the HEMI, 370 Horsepower is wonderful and equally as impressive as the ride and handling. However, performance is great, but the cost in fuel consumption will sober you right up. There is a little ECO (Economy) light that comes on when you are being good but I got tired of looking at that and when driving in my usual way the light was seldom seen again.
There has been a nice progression in the style changes but it hasn’t gone too far afield from the original and has retained the distinctive look and the statement it makes, and that is why heads turn.
My research of consumer opinions can be summarized by one particular older couple who said they would fight for who gets to drive it. They mentioned that they feel young driving the car. True enough! It has that ‘unique’ look that turns heads and is reminiscent of youthful driving days when muscle cars were so loved.
Fit and Finish:
Very good job. KUDOS to all those responsible from design to assembly.
More than I thought it would be, but it is competitive in class, and depending on how you will use the car you may not want most of the Options. All of them will add about $9,000 to the MSRP.
Conveniences and comfort:
All the necessary good stuff is included in the standard equipment pricing. However I particularly like the Adaptive Cruise Control (smart Cruise) “Option” and it is worth the added cost to me. I think you’ll love it as well.
Determine if you will drive this car for performance or not in which case fuel consumption will not be an issue. If it will be a casual driver you can do without most if not all of the options.
Dodge Charger $30,000, Buick Lucerne $30,000, Cadillac CTS $36,000, Hyundai Sonata $21,000,Kia Optima $20,000, Mazda 6 $20,000, Nissan Maxima $32,000, Chrysler 300 $28,000, Ford Taurus $27,000, Acura TL $36,000, Toyota Avalon $33,000,Chevrolet Impala $26,000, Lexus ES 350 $37,000.
Great styling, smooth powerful ride with great road hugging handling.
Not a commuter with increasing gas prices. (See Opinion on this subject).
5.7 liter 370 Horsepower V8 HEMI engine, 5-speed automatic trans with auto-stick, front side and side curtain airbags, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, stability control, traction control, sill start assist, tire pressure monitor, color display for nav, audio etc., keyless enter and go, remote start system, climate control. Options: red pearl paint ($500), R/T performance Group ($4,000), Driver Confidence Group like blind spot detection, back up camera etc., ($995), Adaptive Cruise ($925), Navigation Uconnect SIRIUS with traffic service ($995), Super Track Pak like performance steering sport suspension and HD brakes ($400), Power sunroof ($950).
$3.73/ Gal avg. June 18, 2012
For more information.
16 City and Highway 25 MPG
MSRP $29,995 with options $39,000.
Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is email@example.com
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